Keeping your tablet or smartphone secure is an important aspect of protecting yourself from web hackers. Even if your device is in your hands, hackers are becoming more skilled at getting through firewalls and finding personal information in your email or other saved accounts. There are some simple steps you can take to prevent this from happening to you.
Passcode Protect Your Device
Most tablets and smartphones come with an option to set a passcode so that you are the only one who can get into the information stored on the device. If you leave your phone or tablet sitting out, anyone who picks it up can get into your apps, messages, and emails. Some of the newer devices also have an option to set a password instead of a four-digit passcode for increased security. The iPad Mini 3 with fingerprint identity sensor makes it even easier to keep unwanted users out of your information since only your finger will unlock the device.
Back Up Data
If your phone or tablet breaks or is stolen, you will probably realize how much information was stored on the device. Instead of waiting for an issue to arise, take a few minutes every day or two to back up the data that is on the device. You can download free or paid security apps that will automatically back up your data, or you can use cloud-based services that you can access from anywhere. If you have security concerns about keeping your information in the cloud, you can also back up to your computer.
Modify Default Settings
When you first take your new phone or tablet out of the box, it will have default security settings that may not offer enough protection for your information. Start by disabling any location tracking services, since these can make it very easy for hackers to pinpoint exactly where you and the device are at any time. When you need to use location services, such as mapping, just enable it for that usage. NFC and Bluetooth can also allow hackers to connect wirelessly to your device, so keep them off unless you are using them.
Use Devices on Your Network
If you choose a tablet or phone that isn’t compatible with your network, you will have to root or jailbreak it to make it work. This means that you will override manufacturer settings and this can result in a loss of security features. Mobile malware programs are more likely to pop up and cause damage to these types of phones and tablets, since traditional devices used on their own networks have stricter security restrictions that help keep hackers out.
Most phones and tablets have the option to remotely wipe the data stored on the devices. If you engage a remote wiping, it will restore the device to its original factory settings. This can help protect your personal information in case your device is stolen or hacked. If your device has the option to reset itself if too many wrong passcode attempts are made, be sure to enable it. There are also apps that make it easier to find your device.
Watch Out for Bad Apps
Many mobile device users have found that the most common reason that their devices are compromised is because they have downloaded bad apps. When you are considering downloading an app, make sure to read reviews and double-check permissions to make sure the app won’t access information it doesn’t need. You can also enable a security setting that won’t allow another user, such as a family member or friend, to download an unsecured app.
Use Caution on Public Wi-Fi
Accessing free Wi-Fi networks in public places can be an easy way to lessen your mobile data usage. However, if you use your device to shop or do online banking, it is a lot easier for hackers to access this information. Make sure that you only use private and secured networks when you are using credit card information or other personal details.
With a few easy tips, you can keep yourself protected from hackers and thieves who are looking for ways to get into your private data.